Livni: Peace is in Israel's interest, not a favor to Obama

In joint ABC interview with PA prime minister, opposition leader says it was a mistake for Israel to reject 90-day freeze on settlement building.

December 12, 2010 20:44
2 minute read.
Kadima head Tzipi Livni.

TzipiLivni311. (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)

Opposition Leader Tzipi Livni on Sunday said she believes that "a peace treaty between Israel and the Palestinians is in [the] Israeli interest, it's not a favor to President Obama," in an interview with ABC's Christiane Amanpour .

Livni and Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Salam Fayyad discussed the stalled peace process in the rare joint interview, which aired on the US network.

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Livni meets Clinton as US tries to salvage peace process
Fayyad says Palestinians ready for statehood by August

In the interview, Fayyad said the Palestinians had already told the US where they stand on the big issues, but said that in order to move forward the Palestinians need to know where Israel stands on the issues.

"In order to give the process the kind of credibility that's required is for us to really know, with precision, where it is that the government of Israel stands on the fundamental issue of what it is that's meant by an end to Israeli occupation. What is it that's meant by a state of Palestine," he said.

"What we are committed to is statehood," he said.  "Not a declaration of statehood, we're looking for a state. We did make a declaration of statehood [in] 1988. This time we're looking for a real state on the ground," he told Amanpour.

This commitment came after previous Palestinian statements that the PA would seek unilateral statehood from the UN and other countries.  With several South American countries recognizing a Palestinian state with 1967 borders earlier this week.

Livni told Amanpour that "my views about the peace process and the need to achieve peace are different from this coalition."

Livni said she believed it was a mistake for Israel to reject the US request for a 90-day freeze on settlement building activity.

"In choosing between building more buildings or making peace, I prefer to make peace." 

Livni said she offered to form a coalition with Netanyahu's Likud Party on several occasions.

"I offered Netanyahu in the past, more than once, to have a different coalition that can not only speak about the idea of two states for two peoples, but also translate it into peace treaty with the Palestinians. He decided to have this coalition, unfortunately," she said.

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